Volume 8, Chapter 17: The Hero’s Secret Arts, Part 4
“Princess, we’re going over the walls.”
“Why? Is the castle gate locked?”
I tilted my head slightly at Onzada-kun’s remarks.
The huge 6-wide-by-10-metre-tall castle gate loomed in front of me.
With a gate this size, was it being secured by a latch instead of a lock? The gate was a tarnished-copper green, looking as if it hadn’t been touched in hundreds of years.
“No, it’s because if we wanted to enter, we could use the service entrance beside the gate.”
Did we have some sort of inside man? Now that I think about it, I completely forgot about him mentioning that he had found the secret arts within.
……… I don’t think even I could blow it open if I didn’t have the key.
“It’ll be troublesome if we got spotted by a soldier. If you intend to murder them all, it’s fine, but Milady is not going to, right?”
It seems that Onzada-kun understood that part after all.
I don’t really care about their lives at all since we’re all demons, but meaningless slaughter was something that even demons didn’t do.
After all, as far as spirits or demons were concerned, human and animal lives were no different.
…… Well, they tasted different, though.
Because only Gods and humans, in their selfishness, would discriminate against the value of lives and force others to discriminate.
Well, that was a lot of pretentious talk, but in short, I didn’t really [care one way or the other] about them.
Having said that, if I was going to eat, I wasn’t going just go out and actively slaughter them when these ordinary people weren’t as tasty.
I didn’t do stupid things like kill things just to waste them in vain.
I perk up. That’s it, Onzada-kun!
“fufufufu, the two of you sure are young aren’t you?”
…… Apparently Onzada-kun seemed to be a bit more “human-friendly” than I was.
While taking a little bit of mental damage from this discovery, we vaulted over the castle gate and snuck into the old castle.
I tried to jump over by myself, but Onzada-kun held me in a princess-carry.
Then again, I’ve been held like that ever since I was young by plenty of people regardless of age or gender, so there’s really no feeling of freshness anymore. …… It’s just that I feel a tiny twinge of nostalgia for sitting on father’s knee.
As Geas opened the door leading in from the castle courtyard, the air smelled faintly of dust and mold.
“There are footprints.”
“The royal families of the dark elves and the beastmen entered. It seemed as if they were looking for something left behind by the king of the demons in order to take the throne.”
“I ate them.”
You ate them?
Well, it’s not as if I cared about such things in the first place, so I strode into the depths of the castle, following the footprints.
Although it was dark in here, it had no relation at all to the darkness of demons that were born in the abyss. That is…… except for me.
“…… Milady is glamorous as always.”
There were no more kind words as I ran face-first into a massive wall as we turned the corner.
Even though it was dark, I stupidly didn’t slow my pace at all, and while it certainly left no lasting damage, it hurt a bit?
“Does milady have no night vision?”
“……Why do the two of you have it?”
It that it? Is it because I’m awkward?
“…… Haah. I’m almost at the time limit, so I’ll guide you.”
And with an almost comical pomf, Onzada-kun turned back into a rabbit stuffed-toy.
It seems like we’d hit the time limit for his humanization.[…………]
Onzada-kun, who was glowing faintly in the dark, beckoned me forward and led me, lighting up the footprints to show me the way.
[Laplace.] The rabbit that led Alice into wonderland.
Some of his spec was exactly as I had “set” them, but I’m glad that Onzada-kun’s kindness let him do more than just that.
As I headed down to the basement, I could make out something that looked like an altar that faintly glowed.
“Yes, it was here that Lady Nefi and Rimi learned the [Original Secret Art]. In order to activate it, the blood of the royal family which has the bloodline of the Hero is necessary, and we left behind some of the royals’ blood that we used previously just in case.”
Geas presented me with a perfume bottle filled with a jet-black liquid.
…… It’s not rotten, right?
I was confident that if I opened the lid and smelled something foul, I would throw up, so I started examining the altar first.
There were some ancient etchings, but the contents of these weren’t much different from what Geas had said.
But, just how was the blood of the hero drawn out? How as this eligibility being determined? Was it some sort of mechanism to read genetic information?
It might be possible to read an individual’s magical wavelength, but as far as blood was concerned, it was impossible since magical wavelengths differed from parent to child.
Could this possibly be…… some sort of attribute?
Gathering a bit of energy, I made a small scratch on my left finger with my [Crimson Claw] on my right index finger.
I think it was my imagination that Onzada-kun had a slightly disappointed look on his face even though he was a stuffed toy.
“Oh, and Lady Nefi and Rimi said that you could use their blood……”
You should have told me that in the first place. No, wait, I can’t do that to little children. If this wasn’t enough, I was going to use the rotten blood.
I knelt down slowly and rubbed a little of my blood-stained fingers on the letters of the altar.
As Geas exclaimed out, the altar activated, and the etchings began to shine.
“It’s the same as before?”
“Yes, that’s right.”[………]
“No, wait, Onzada-dono says that the letters are shining brighter than before……”
How in the world are the two of you talking to each other?
As good as it was, given the technology of the magicians in the world and considering the [Hero’s Secret Art] that I’ve obtained, reading the genetic information shouldn’t have been possible.
So I thought that the key to it was [Magic Power] and [Attributes].
Thus, when they said that they needed the blood of many sacrifices, I considered that what they were after was in fact the [Pure Magic Power] that was obtained from the soul present within that blood.
But if it was merely pure magic, Geas or Onzada-kun should easily have managed it. Therefore, that’s not enough – you also needed the hero’s [Light Attribute].
Even though it had the same attributes as my human self, Geas and the rest didn’t have it.
…… eh? Wait, does that mean that it would have started up if I had hit it directly with [Sacred Magic] even if I hadn’t used my own blood?
“……………Is that the passage through?”
As I gave up on pursuing those deep thoughts, Geas didn’t probe further. What emerged was a passageway that lead within. At this point, I couldn’t care less about the details now.
The First Hero had left something behind here.
As we entered, there were stone monuments with glowing letters that flanked both sides of the passageway.
Written on all of them was the story behind the creation of this country of darkness. All of the secret arts that had been used in those days.
The further back one went, the more detailed the information was, and the more dangerous the techniques detailed.[…………]
“I’m sorry. This is the limit for us.”
The sacred barrier that had been laid in layers was getting denser as we went deeper.
For humans, it seemed as if having a strong light-attributed magic power would let them go deeper? Or perhaps you couldn’t return without the power of a hero?
Ordinary demons and monsters who didn’t have the light attribute would be repelled by the barriers. A high-ranking demon would be able to forcibly push their way in, but the stone monuments wouldn’t have survived the impact.
Something that would rather be extinguished, than be used by evil…… huh? How thorough.
Is there something behind that was that dangerous?
In the middle of the passageway, I found something that described a [Phantom Beast Humanization Art].
This was the method that Rinne and the rest used to humanize. So that’s as far as the twins managed to go. If I examined it a bit more closely, I could spot their small footprints.
H~~mmm…… This method was fundamentally different from the method that demons used to incarnate as humans.
It feels as if you would have to seal yourself with your own power? It wasn’t that much of a problem for the Beast-Demons like Geas who had little magic, but it didn’t suit Rinne at all.
Reading the details, it’s obvious that there were some very tearful efforts to transform a companion monster into a beautiful girl……
However, the method is still interesting.
For the time being, I’m going to just quickly browse through it and then go on ahead.
“…[Let there be light]…”
Gently releasing the sacred light, the stone monuments’ carving all lit up, glowing all the way down the passage.
It appeared to record the diary of the first hero or something like his monologues.
It was also slightly embarrassing to read through the feelings he held when he was building this nation and the dreams he wanted to achieve.
Hmmm, because it’s so embarrassing to read, I didn’t actually read it that carefully?
The person who’d created this might have lived not only in a different world, but in a different era entirely. There were elements of freedom and equality, which were philosophical ideas that were definitely less than a thousand years old.
Paired with being this [Demon King ] and ruling them with fear for a hundred years, if he’d had a decent education, it shouldn’t have happened this way…… I think.
“An idealistic hero……?”
And as I reached the end of the passageway, an enormous stone monument stood before me.
No, this ……… this is…
A contract for a [Skill System] that he had established with all of the [Greater Spirits] of this world.
“……… A replica.”
It would be utterly surprising if this was the original, but a mere Copy was meaningless to have.
Still, the information written on it is the real deal. The conditions for acquiring certain skills, the considerations in doing so, and how new skills should be handled should they arise were well documented.
In addition, since all of it was written in the [Spirit Language], if I inserted my magic power into it, it would still have some effect even if it was just a replica. This castle might have been built just to channel magic into this.
When I examined it closely, there was a certain part of the text that was strange.
It was as if someone had been forced to re-write certain parts of an English passage into German with nothing more than a dictionary.
Hohoh…… Because of this stone monument being in the center here, it seems that even creatures not covered in the contract, like Demons, could gain skills.
“…wai-… what is this?”
As I read on, I found something that was slightly less interesting.
It’s true that it was a “contract” where neither the spirit or the contractor was at an advantage, but if you factored this in……
“Rinne can’t possibly ever humanize……”
What we were trying to do was to find our own way, one that wasn’t okay to get disturbed by someone else.
This world had been distorted by someone’s ideas. Even the spirits who should have corrected it had been played without their knowledge.
And if this were allowed to continue, then this world would repeat the same mistake as that of Earth.
So… Because of that, I was able to enter into this “world”?
“……… fufufu, I just thought of something interesting.”
A lot of exposition this chapter
Next time, another person’s perspective. What did Yuru come up with?
Yuru Hype incoming…